Guest Blog - Love From Mwai

Mwai's 'Victorious Tips' on Finding Your Dream Wedding Venue  

I’m so honoured to have been asked by the wonderful team at Hedsor House to blog on all things weddings. I’m excited to share my love for weddings, advice and hopefully inspire all the wonderful couples as they plan what I would like say is one of the most important days of a person's life! No pressure!

A little about myself, my name is Mwai, I am the owner and creative director of Love from Mwai.  I love all things weddings so much that I planned my entire wedding on my own four years ago. I understand the intricacies of a wedding and that it is more than just walking down the aisle and reciting vows. To me, a wedding is about telling a story of who the two of you are as a couple, which is told in the many minute details of the day.

Join me on my monthly blog as I discuss all the wonderful, interesting and of course worries of the wedding world. I thought it is only right for my first blog to be about “finding the perfect wedding venue” especially as the venue is the backbone a wedding and planning only starts once you have found the perfect venue...

Factors to consider when finding the perfect venue

Once the initial excitement of your engagement settles down, it is time to get down to business. As a wedding specialist, I have seen so many beautiful venues I remember. When I walk into my dream wedding venue, it is always love at first sight.

In an ideal world that’s the way everyone’s venue search would go. But when looking for your own dream wedding venue,  you may not have that “ah-ha” moment right away. In fact, it can become very overwhelming and frustrating. But by narrowing down the type of wedding you would like to have, your venue search can be virtually stress-free and a lot of fun! So here are my “Victorious Tips” for choosing the perfect wedding venue:

1. Budget – Cost is often the main factor people use when considering or ruling out venues, and of course the price tag of hiring the venue must fit within your event budget.

2. Space specifications – This would include things like space/room capacity, load in/out amenities; and technical capabilities (like lighting, electrical, A/V, etc.).

3. Day/time availability – This factor almost goes without saying, but it’s a good rule of thumb to have several day/time options in mind (or at least be somewhat flexible with day/time of the event) before you start reviewing venues so you don’t immediately limit the number of venues you can consider.

4. Appropriateness for type of wedding you want – This may be the most subjective, but it may well be the most important. And it first requires you to know precisely the needs and what type of wedding you want in order to match up a venue with those specifications.

5. Other groups using the venue at the same time as your event – If you are planning an intimate wedding, you probably don’t want a loud function going on in the next room so make sure any simultaneous events at the venue (or even nearby) won’t conflict with or interrupt yours. Even better - choose an exclusive hire venue to make sure the space is all yours.

6. Customer service – Not only does the venue need to be responsive to your needs prior to your wedding, but it also needs to have adequate support staff on site during the event to respond to the needs and requests of you and your guests.

7. Travel convenience – The location of the venue needs to be conveniently located for your guests and within a reasonable distance so as not to require excessive travel; otherwise your guests will spend most of the time on the road travelling to your wedding venue.

8. Parking and proximity to transportation options – Onsite or nearby parking options for your guests are important (and cost of parking for your guests can be a deciding factor here). In addition, proximity to airports and public transit is also important if you have many guests who aren’t driving their own car to your wedding..

9. Reputation – Ask other event planners/ vendors regarding their experiences with the venues you are considering. In addition, look at online reviews in forums to round out your assessment of a venue’s reputation and track record.

10. Vendor restrictions – Some venues have a list of exclusive vendors that they will allow to perform work in their venue, so make sure if you are using outside vendors that you can bring them into the venue and that the venue will amicably work alongside them.

And there you have it folks, I hope these tips will be as useful as they were to me when I was searching for my dream wedding venue. Bonus points for Hedsor House as they definitely meet all the above criteria.

Stay tuned for my next blog post where I’ll be talking about how to choose your wedding flowers. Until next time!

Happy Planning!

Love from Mwai